In any type of personal injury case, one of the most important hurdles you will have to clear is the defense’s motion for summary judgment. If the court awards summary judgment to your opposing party, then your case is ended before it ever makes it to trial and you are entitled to no compensation. Knowing how to defeat a defense motion for summary judgment is a very important crossroads within your case. Having skilled California legal counsel on your side to deal with these and other important hurdles can be vital to your case’s success.
A recent example of this was the premises liability case of M. M. and a friend decided to eat lunch at a restaurant in Riverside. While eating outside on the business’s patio, M. received a spider bite. This was no ordinary spider bite, though. According to M., the offending spider was a black widow, whose bites can be extremely dangerous. M.’s bite eventually led to a hospitalization for the victim.
M. subsequently sued the business. When you are pursuing compensation based upon a claim of premises liability, there are always certain things you have to prove to the court. You must show either that the property owner failed to protect people on its property from the risk of harm from the hazard, or that it failed to warn people about the risk from the danger. In M.’s case, she asserted that the business did neither.
In a case where you are the plaintiff, you have the burden of proving your case to the court. However, when a defendant asks the court to award summary judgment in its favor, then your opponent has the burden of proving that you have no case; in other words, that no reasonable interpretation of the evidence could lead to a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
M. was able to win her appeal and revive her case against the business precisely due to the lack of proof offered by the business. The business did not have sufficient evidence that it acted appropriately to protect patrons. (For example, the court noted that “it is unclear what, if anything, the [defendant] did in regard to warning patrons about black widows or controlling the black widow population.” The only evidence that the business had of its pro-active steps it took to protect patrons from black widows involved having “employees monitor for pests and insects and report their observations.”
That evidence meant that, given the prevalence of black widow spiders in the Riverside County area, it was reasonably foreseeable “that there would be a risk of a patron being bitten if a restaurant owner did nothing concerning spiders other than record their presence.”
If you have been injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, then you may be entitled to compensation. Talk to the Oakland injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen M. Fuerch, who have been working hard for many years to represent injured clients diligently and effectively. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us through our website or call our office at (925) 463-2575 to schedule your confidential initial consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Southern California Mother and Child Allowed to Pursue City of Pasadena in Premises Liability Claim, Oakland Personal Injury Attorney Blog, June 16, 2017
California Property Owner Prevails in Premises Liability Case Based on Second-Hand Exposure to Asbestos, Oakland Personal Injury Attorney Blog, April 30, 2015